Modifications to digital ... SCD777ES

Considering having my SCD-777ES SACD player modded to include Blackgate capacitors, Vishay resistors, Harris diodes, hook-up wire and cardas rca jacks. This could cost around $1000. What improvements would I expect? Is it worth the cost? Who has had this done and can comment? I prefer this over an DAC because improvements would be realized on cd and SACD output. Syst includes Talon Khorus, 777, Aloia Inductive amp/preamp, and Audio Tekne cables. I realize Great Northern Sound "may" offer an output stage board on March but this was originally scheduled for Dec.
hey mikeg, i also have a 777 and have been pondering doing similar mods to it. accordingly i have asked the same question and have not gotten a response from anyone. i'm sure it would some better based on the theory that replacing machined parts with better hand picked and better performing parts should sound better however the only way to find out such things is to try it and find out. i have heard great northern sound was doing mods but haven't heard of anyone having theirs done there or if they're even doing it at all yet. there is another company called that supposedly wil create a new output stage for redbook. basically i think they add a tubed output. they claim to be able to beat anything on the market. this is a high horse to climb. they also bypass the original output and the power supplies are transferred to the motor and display i think he said. anyway, if you end up doing something to it, please let me know the results so i can do something similar when money permits.


Who can do modification you discribed? Yourself? Please, provide details
i don't know if simon is talking to me but if you are i am talking about they are the ones who do the mods, call them and check them out.
Sorry, I had question for the gentelman who posted the original thread, Mikeg. I spoke with Richard Smith of Audience and I am aware of their proposition. Sorry again for confusion - Simon
There's a guy in the club I belong to, South Florida Audio Society by the name of Andy Bartha. He is a techy and a nice guy. You may have heard of him. I am currently using a pair of 45 amps he built. He does a lot of modifications and may be able to help you out. He does this full time, it,s not a hobby. Drop me your P.N. number and i will ask him to call you. You can go over his credentials with him yourself.

I was considering a few sources. Musical Design, Stan Warren, and Dan Wright for the component bypassses. I just talked to Jerry O. at Audio Logic and his price to add his tube output stage went up from $1250 to $1450. I'm concerned about the output stage on the 777. I could bypass all those components and still by stuck with thin sounding op amps (luckily the Aloia inductive ps preamp cured this). I am trying to contact Audience. Stan Warren also offered to replace the op amps with mosfets (on the Pioneer 333, maybe he could do the same on the 777). The other side of the coin, Jerry O of Audio Logic said all of the engineering journals list DVD Audio as the winning format because SACD isn't being readily accepted by the record companies (betamax syndrome). If I'm going to spend $1450 for an add on output stage with power supply then I might as well spend more for a used Dodson DAC. I'll have something of value. Was wondering how your Sony DVD9000 is coming along as modified by Stan? Regards, Mike Girardi
Thank you for detailed answer. Stan Warren still investigating 9000es (about two months by now) and I don't know what he will do at the end. I will post results in the same year I will get back my unit - Simon
Audience has emailed me. The upgrade detail is given below:

Thank you for your inquiry. The full modification is more of a reengineering. The result is a state of the art player. It will benefit CD and SACD. It solves the biggest problem of digital disc playback, inadequate analog output
stages. There is a lot of big talk out there but not much in actual performance. Our proprietary circuit is not equaled by any other manufacturer. The following is a brief description.

Yes, we do mods on the 777ES. There are two basic levels. The first level includes reworked power supplies with new wiring, added noise filtration, IEC or Neutrik PowerCon power inlet connector with optional powerChord upgrade,
better power supply capacitors, new op amp and auricap output coupling capacitors. This step costs $450.00 to $900.00 depending on options chosen. The second step is more than a mod. In addition to what I mentioned for the
first step we completely replace the stock analog section with our own CableDriver analog section. This is an absolute state of the art analog stage which is direct coupled to the output, eliminating output capacitors. It has no overall feedback and an output impedance of 3 Ohms or less! In this second step we upgrade the digital filters and add more power supply decoupling and internal shielding along with additional cabinet damping. The cost is 1,500.00 to $2,000.00 depending on options.

The result is a truly state of the art disc player which will compare favorably with any player on the market regardless of cost or reputation.


Richard A. Smith
I just ordered the service manual so i could get the cap and resistor values and may just do my own modding like audiocrazed on the audioasylum board,only i will replace the main power supply caps with blackgate and use film caps and resistors in place of polystrene wherever possible. I don't no how long this will take but it should be faster than sending it out to be done, and since no ones even had one done and got it back yet to post results.audiocrazed has posted even better than initial results after a little break in, the player now compares well to his wadia 860. Now those are results.
Has anybody had this mod/re-engineering done by Audience? Or by some other modifier? If so, could you offer some feedback.Thanx in advance
Can't comment on other mods, but, as I've noted in other posts, I've had the Jerry Ozment/Audio Logic tube output stage added to my unit, bypassing the Sony analog stage and its op-amps and power supplies, and am very pleased with the results. If you like the sound of the Audio Logic DAC, and Jerry is indeed doing these mods/bypass operations (he has vascillated on this in the past), it is worth considering. It is an excellent analog stage, using high quality parts, very musical, dynamic and detailed in my opinion. I'd still consider having him rig me an SACD digital out to run from the 777ES into my Audio Logic 2400, but that's gotta wait until they have an industry standard agreed for that interface; in the meantime this does very nicely. Hope to hear how the others like their mods--I would expect big improvements, as the analog stage of the 777 in particular can easily be improved on by a good designer not working to a price point.
Hi all. I performed the Musicoat upgrade that audio_optimizer recommended on my SCD-777ES (see "SCD-1 Upgrade" thread). I treaded all integrated circuit chips, disk shaped capacitors (not can style), axle leaded resistors, diodes, and diode heat shinks. This stuff ($105 shipped) really works. The digital hash is gone, I hear the air pulsating through the wind instruments, the decay is enhanced, i also hear the performer take a breath which I couldn't hear previously (enhanced resolution) on my reference disk, and I know the background noise is lower (I can hear more hiss on a super quiet passage I didn't hear before). I can now increase the volume on my Aloia amp/preamp without hearing so much digital grit/sizzle. Will order more to do amp and preamp. I'll also will purchase the TI shielding (RFI/EMI) to treat my unshielded transformers in the 777. Due to lack of funds will have to wait to send 777 out for component replacements (caps, diodes, resistors). System includes Talon Khorus, 777, Aloia, and Audio Tekne cables.Thanks, Mike
I do modifications to the Sony's. I replace the carbon resistors with vishays, the film caps with REL caps and I
insteal HEXFREDS and Black Gate caps in the power Supply.
My price for these mods is aprox. $300 parts $150 labor.
Your cost will vary depending on the resistors you wish me to put in. The improvement in sound is stunning. Clarity
and Detail are improved at least two to one and the speed
and pace of the bass is excellent. No more slow dark sony sound on cd's. Sacd's are superb. The best part is the
imaging has improved with the sound behind the speakers
and not in your face. The treble is not forward anymore
and the ambiance is clear and clean, not warm and fuzzy
as before. Contact Richard Kern at: or email me at
I can give you a choice of capacitors and resistors
to put in your sony and a lower price because of this.